Saturday, July 07, 2012

Friday, July 06, 2012

Why is Mitt Romney on vacation?

What has he done that he needs to be on vacation? How many people in the US have had a vacation in the past five years?

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Listen and Learn

From Steven Argue


Dozens of cops raided the Lakeview Sit-in this morning of July 3rd, kicking out a bunch of families and teachers. Two people were arrested including one parent and former student.

A rally was held at the Lakeview steps at 5pm. Stay tuned for more.

For over two weeks the Lakeview Sit-In and People's School for Public Education has been running a free summer program out of occupied Lakeview Elementary, serving over 30 children with programming in social justice, art, PE, and gardening. That sit-in is demanding that Tony Smith and the School Board:

* Reopen all five closed elementary schools!
* Repudiate the state debt!
* Stop busting teacher and school workers' unions!
* Reverse the cuts to special education!
* Fully fund public education for every student!

Here are statements of the Oakland Education Association and the Alameda Labor Council in support of the sit-in:

Support Community Sit In
The Alameda Labor Council supports and encourages affiliates to engage as is individually appropriate for the "Community Sit In" at Lakeview Elementary School in Oakland which was recently closed by the OUSD. Various union members, parents and the community have rallied against this and other school closures. Please see OEA Statement on Lakeview Sit In.

June 23, 2012: On June 20, the OEA Executive Board voted to support the efforts of the Lakeview Sit-In and the People’s School for Public Education. We also endorsed these demands:

•Don’t close the 5 schools. Keep all neighborhood schools open.
•Stop union busting: defend the OEA and all school worker unions
•Repudiate the state debt
•Fully fund quality public education for all

Oakland Unified School District’s closure of five public elementary schools has displaced over 1,000 students, mostly children of color, and destabilitized entire communities. Some of these school buildings are slated to be turned into district administration offices, while others have already been given over to non-union, privately controlled charter schools. One, Santa Fe, has been leased to Emeryville, leaving an entire zip code without a public school – and resulting in the loss of $157,000 for the next three years in Quality Education Investment Act (QEIA) funding, money directly targeted for class size reduction.

This process has taken place without the full input of the communities involved, and without addressing the numerous alternatives that were raised by OEA and members of the community after the closures were announced on October 26, 2011. At that time, OEA issued a statement that included the following:

“When the Board of Education adopted a set of criteria for closing schools in late August, OEA countered with a set of our own. These included closing poorly-performing charter schools, getting rid of outside consultant contracts, and decreasing the number of administrative positions. We called on the Board to do whatever was necessary before moving to close any schools, and to do this in a way that was transparent and involved the community. Instead, they have moved ahead with their plans, despite vocal opposition from all affected communities.

Therefore, OEA stands in opposition to the closure of Lakeview, Lazear, Marshall, Maxwell Park, and Santa Fe, all schools serving predominantly children of color. We call on the district to abandon their plan and work with the many teachers, students, and community leaders who have come to the past few Board meetings with creative ideas for keeping their schools open. If this plan goes forward, the Board is essentially refusing to listen to the voice of their constituents and is instead encouraging even more bleeding from the district as families leave in disgust and more schools opt to convert to charters.”

We urge all labor and community partners to join with us in supporting the courageous efforts of the Lakeview Sit-In – this is an action with significance that goes far beyond one school in Oakland and strikes at the very heart of the attempts to starve and then privatize public education.

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